It’s a funny thing when you build a positive relationship with someone; they tend to want to help you. Friends will assist you move, sisters will help you buy clothes, and your photographer will do little extras before and after your wedding day.
I’d like to start off with the obvious: We do our best work all the time regardless of the relationship we have with our couple. If we just met them the morning of the wedding for an international wedding, or we’ve known them through friends and family, we always strive for the best imagery possible. But there are those couples who tend to treat us like the ‘help’ if you will. Consider the type of work that we’re doing. It’s not us building a cake for you to a specification, it’s not printing out your wedding invitations, it’s a personal and emotional connection to you and the wedding day. You want to have the photographers on your side here.
When we’re close to our couples and become friends with them throughout this process, we are allowed into their personal stories and regarded as part of the family on the wedding day. This is the difference between okay photographs, and amazing photos – Just think, if you are giving your photographer awkward vibes the entire day because you just don’t get along with them, you’re going to be photographed looking awkwardly. These photographs are going to be forever engrained into your family’s history, and you will be remembered with that vibe. This is clearly not the way I want to shoot you as a couple.
Connecting with your photographer on a level that brings the two of you to the same page is as important as selecting the right photographer to begin with. Our photos are technically perfect, I mean they better be as we’re professional photographers, but the most important part of this process is your feeling with your particular shooter. Here’s a few tips I’ve un-biasedly jotted down to hopefully help you in your search:
Set a MAX Budget
This is 15%-20% of your TOTAL wedding budget (The last budget, not the one you think you’re going to spend). Ideally for professionals you should expect to pay around 2900 – 3800 for 10 hour days with unlimited photographs.
Find Photographers with a Style Match
Meaning that you love their work, and it’s similar to the style you would like your wedding photos to be like.
Narrow down to THREE
And only three based on budget, style and gut feel – Call them, tell them about your day and what you would expect. DO NOT tell them your budget at this point, let them quote you on your day.
Set up a face to face meeting
Go to their studio location to make sure they are not just part time photographers; majority of photographers that disappear on their clients meet at Starbucks (Or Timmies….) and not at a physical location. Learn about them, why they do what they do, and truly FEEL them out. Do you get along? Can you see yourself hanging out with this person outside the wedding? Would they get along with your family, and friends. Remember, you’ve already pre-qualified them, they’re in your budget, and you love their work. Treat this session as a personality interview.
Go with your gut, and go with reviews (Wedding Wire is a great resource). Sometimes the best choice is the first one, sometimes the best choice will cost you a little bit more, hover, there is little cost difference between you stressing about your day, and you living it. I tend to say this all the time – $500.00 difference now for a little extra memory will never be regretted when you’re 70.
When you open up to your photography team, you will allow them to push you a bit more, be more playful with you, have more fun during the photo sessions, and truly connect with every second of your day. This is an art form for us, and to effectively capture the true emotion of you and your day, we need to truly be there with you. Let us in, and you’ll never regret it.